3 Designing Your Talent Development Program: How Do You Start? – Starting a Talent Development Program


Designing Your Talent Development Program: How Do You Start?


In This Chapter

• Presenting a process to design a talent development program

• Implementing the business elements of the program

• Creating a talent development program strategy

• Selecting topics and content

• Meeting the expectations of today’s learner

Ok, so you are sold on the idea of a talent development program. You know what it entails, and you know why it’s important. The next step is figuring out how to get started. This chapter will show you how to begin developing a strategy to design your talent development program.

When you initiate the design of a talent development program, you’ll want to be sure you’re spending your money wisely. Creating an overall strategy to steer your plans for employee development and ensuring that your talent development strategy links into your organization’s strategy is the best way to start. This ensures that your plans address efficiency, effectiveness, and are economically smart. Let’s look at a process for how to do that.

The Pre-Implementation Stage

Whether you were hired by an organization to establish a new talent development program or the task was delegated to you by your current organization, you have a great deal of work ahead. This section will define the steps you need to take to get started.

Or perhaps you were asked to upgrade or improve a talent development program that is already operating in your organization. Does the current program generate the results that the organization had hoped it would? Often the reason a talent development program is not living up to expectations is that the organization was in a hurry to begin and did not work through all the necessary steps. If this is the case, the process outlined in this book may hold the key—try taking a couple steps back and complete any research that was missed or ignored.

You may simply be trying to build a case to implement a talent development program for your organization. You see the benefits and want to sell that vision—perhaps your organization faces many challenges, and you know that it would benefit from a strategically developed workforce and a culture of learning. Chapters 1 and 2 provide you with data and data sources about superior performance in other organizations that is attributed to learning cultures. This chapter will let you in on what’s ahead if your organization agrees to your plan.

No matter the situation, your task is to create a strategy supporting the organization and employees that executive leaders can embrace and buy into. You need to establish goals and objectives that not only support the strategy, but also can be used as part of the evaluation process to determine how the investment in talent development reinforces the organizational goals.

There are many situations that led you to where you are and why you are reading this book. Whatever they are, your initial step is to write a strategic plan for the talent development program. By showing how the talent development program will contribute to organizational success, you can change the view of employee development from an expense to contributing to the bottom line. Before you write the strategic plan, you will want to complete some background research. Let’s take a look at how you might do that.

Conduct Research for the Talent Development Strategic Plan

Researching for the talent development program’s strategic plan begins by building a rationale. Why are you starting a talent development program now? While you can include many different things in your research plan, I find that three options are particularly helpful: building a business case, completing a SWOT analysis, and interviewing employees and leaders.

Build a Business Case

Think of this step as making your case for a talent development program. You may be thinking, “But the senior leadership team has requested a talent development program. Why should I ‘make a case’ for it?” There are many reasons:

• Although your senior leadership team agreed, some may not have “agreed” as enthusiastically as others. Making the case requires you to gather data, define a rationale, and deliver supporting arguments.

• The members of today’s senior leadership team may not all be there in six months when you are ready to roll out the program. Having a well-designed plan will be an advantage as you educate the new arrivals.

• Even if the senior leadership team is supportive, the program will also require the next levels of management and employees to also approve. Building a business case prepares you for those discussions.

• Finally, do it for you! A well-thought-out case puts you in the driver’s seat when you are quizzed by others about why the organization is investing in talent and development.


When senior leaders know that your focus is consistent and supports the organization’s goals, they are more likely to partner with you.

So, where do you start to build a case? Following these five steps will inform, prepare, and enlighten you at this stage.

1. Begin by examining your organization’s strategy. Training, learning, development, talent, and HR departments are seldom viewed as strategic because they are often putting out daily fires. This is a chance to start strategically—review your strategic plan, learn more about the organization’s customers and competitors, and determine how your organization is viewed from the inside and the outside.


A tool at the end of this chapter, “Explore Your Organization’s Strategic Priorities,” can get you started on this task.

2. Identify how talent development can contribute to organizational priorities. Does the organization have new priorities? Is it having difficulty with current priorities? What skills, knowledge, and attitudes do employees require to ensure efficient attainment? You may need to expand your thinking to several layers, so get others involved. For example, several years ago, my company helped a client move into the European market. We knew that employees would need certain traits to succeed, including cultural sensitivity, flexibility, emotional stability, and openness to adventure. They also needed to learn about the traditions and customs of the area. The learning department started the research and created learning events for employees who were moving abroad, as well as those remaining in the Minneapolis area who would interact with the company’s new European employees.


A mind map works well to identify what knowledge, skills, and attitudes are necessary to address the strategic priorities. Place each priority in the center of the map and then identify what employees will need. Take your mind maps to the departments that are primarily and secondarily related to each priority for additional input.

3. Determine the metrics you might be able to use. To demonstrate the effect on the organization’s top and bottom lines, you will need to measure outcomes. No single set of metrics will apply every time, so talent development professionals need to consider a variety of possibilities. Some metrics are easy to measure, such as increasing retention, while others are more difficult, such as ensuring employees are agile learners. The difficult ones require you to dig down into the layers of results. Research other organizations to gather valid data you can use to predict improvements for your organization.

4. Create a big-picture budget to balance the success metrics. Design it as a case study, so no one will expect exact numbers. Again, tap into your network to research other organizations. Obtaining data and examples from them will be valuable.

5. Create a pitch your CFO will buy. The key for every organization, for-profit and not-for-profit alike, is return on investment. This means that your mindset needs to focus on how you will create organizational value. Your CEO should see the talent development program as an investment—not a cost. If you can make a strong business case and have measures in place to show how talent development could contribute to the bottom line, you’ll have a much better chance of getting support from your senior leaders. Building a case means you need to do your homework. A case that clearly shows how your talent development program offers a return on investment is a great place to start.

Complete a SWOT Analysis

SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. These are traditional bases of information used in strategic planning. Just as you would complete a SWOT analysis during an organization’s strategic planning session, it is also important when you are gathering data to determine a talent development strategy. Invite stakeholders, including managers of key departments, to help you complete the SWOT analysis. You must be very deliberate in figuring out what can go wrong as well as what can go right. This tool can help you identify any unintended consequences of your plan.


A tool at the end of this chapter, “SWOT Analysis,” is designed to help you prepare to develop your talent development strategy.

Interview Employees and Leaders

Although time-consuming, this step is my favorite. Schedule interviews with as many leaders and employees as you can. I am always pressed for a number here, so let me say that 30 or 40 is not too many. Whom do you interview? Start with senior-level leaders because they will help give you direction. Think about interviewing a diagonal sampling throughout the organization to get people from all departments and at all levels. At the very least, you should interview informal leaders, idea people, and negative people. Negative? Really? Yes. They will help you identify barriers you could face in the future. Use this information to begin preparing for potential barriers, and maybe even how you could prevent them from occurring.

Define the core questions you want to ask during your interview. Although you’ll customize the individual interviews, these questions will help you uncover information to include in your talent development strategic plan:

• What is your vision for the talent development program?

• What do you hope we accomplish the first year? The second year?

• What do you hope we accomplish within five years?

• What should the talent development department be responsible for?

• What are the strategic priorities we should focus on? Can you prioritize them?

• What knowledge, skills, and attitudes do our employees need to accomplish strategic priorities?

• Who should have access to talent development services?

• What kind of services should talent development offer?

Plan to spend 45 minutes in each interview and try to schedule 15 minutes between each. End each interview with a question like, “Is there anything I missed or anything you want to tell me that we haven’t discussed?” Meet on their turf and at their convenience, and always follow up with a thank you note. I recommend a handwritten note, although email or texts may be appropriate in your organization. Thank your interviewees for taking time out of their busy schedules to enlighten you about their needs and the organization’s requirements.


A tool at the end of this chapter, “Interview Questions to Ask,” offers additional suggestions on how to start this task.

Write the Talent Development Program Strategic Plan

Once you have completed your research, you are ready to begin to develop your strategic plan. You will find that the research you used to build a case study will slip right into your strategic plan. You probably aren’t surprised to learn that a talent development strategy includes some of the same components as an organizational strategy: vision, mission, and learning philosophy or principles. You will also need to add how they align with the direction of your organization.


Your vision will define your lofty goal—your ideal endpoint. It should resonate with all members of the organization and help them feel pride and excitement about the possibilities. A vision should be something that is possible, but perhaps a real stretch to achieve. Think about your organization and how that stretch vision will help it achieve its strategic imperative.


Think about all the things you plan to do. A mission statement is like an executive summary of what you’re going to do. Will the talent development program be responsible for employee assessment? For engagement surveys? For college credit education? For supporting IDPs? Coaching? Establishing a mentoring program? For leadership development or a host of other things? What is the relationship between HR and the talent development program? Spell it out.

Philosophy or Principles

It’s your choice whether you write guiding principles or a learning philosophy. However, you should consider at least one to ensure that your organization understands what the talent development program stands for.

Learning and development consultant Brent Schlenker believes that learning principles are “good to have when you need to make sure your team and stakeholders are grounded on your basic ideals before moving on to strategy conversations.” This is the very reason I suggest that you think through the purpose and philosophy of talent development in your organization. When Brent delivered a session at the ATD 2015 International Conference & Exposition, he presented five guiding principles for training departments.

Guiding Principles for Training Departments

We are knowledge brokers.

We build expertise in those who need it by leveraging those who have it.

We put people first and technology second.

We recognize the best training is often 1:1, but that doesn’t scale. We strategically use technology to amplify, and efficiently scale up, the human element of training.

We build as we deploy.

We iteratively develop scalable solutions while meeting current and immediate training needs.

We see learning as a long-term process.

We believe training events are only a part of the journey toward expertise. We leverage multiple content delivery channels to make content more readily available on demand in real time.

We measure to evaluate success.

We ensure the effectiveness of training solutions by linking desired outcomes to business performance indicators, and tracking and evaluating results.

Adapted from Schlenker (2015).

Your mission, vision, and philosophy must align with the organizational culture they support. It will also be critical that senior leadership agrees to ensure consistency of purpose. If you are not creating from the ground up and you already have a mission and vision, be sure to compare all your documents. Are they consistent, and do they specifically state what you believe, why you exist, and how you will implement the talent development program?


“Your training strategy must be consistent with the culture of the organization.” —John Coné, ASTD Handbook: The Definitive Reference for Training & Development

Whom and How You Serve

This section of the talent development program strategy should clearly identify the employees you will serve. You may, for example, have primary clients and secondary clients. Does your organization have multiple divisions? Locations? Is there a hierarchy of service, or is it dependent upon who schedules your time first? If you are creating a new talent development program, you will need to depend upon the organizational culture, design, and infrastructure, as well as your own common sense. How you deliver value to your customers should also be addressed—you will base this on what your customers want and how they want it.

Your business model will cover the who and the how. You may include some of these elements:

• Your value proposition—What is the value you offer your clients? Why you?

• Customers—Who is your target audience? How do you know what they need?

• Product portfolio—What will you offer (classes, webcasts, coaching)?

• Services—Will you provide informal learning design, enrollment in college courses, mentor and protégé matching, or team building?

• Distribution plan—How will you deliver products and services? How will you communicate their availability?

• Organizational structure—How many employees will you need? What certification, degrees, and expertise will they have? What will they do?

• Financial model—Where will the money come from, and what will it be used for? Will it be centrally funded, will departments have their own budgets, or both? (This is a big-picture overview for the strategy; we’ll address budgeting later in this chapter.)

Strategic Direction

The strategic direction gives you the opportunity to look toward the future. Where are you now, and where are you planning to take the talent development program? What goals do you have near term and for the future? Consider your strategic and program goals, as well as your key strategies and initiatives. This is a great time to review what you learned when you were developing the business case.

Anyone who reads a strategic plan expects to see this section. This is also a good place to state how you intend to stay in touch with the organization’s strategic priorities. How do the initiatives and strategies support the organization’s priorities and solve its issues? Are your initiatives acceptable to the organization? Your strategies could include things such as:

• developing employee competencies

• onboarding development

• implementing new content

• initiating new delivery systems

• adding new services

• increasing the number of customers.

Include your plan for how the talent development program will reach its strategy. This is where you list the requirements you have for things such as data, space, technology, equipment, leadership support, and, of course, financial support.


End your strategy by identifying the indicators of success. How will you measure success? How will you demonstrate efficiency, effectiveness, and quality, as well as how the design meets the needs of the organization? Present a high-level evaluation plan: what and how you expect to evaluate the results. You’ll add more details once the strategy has been approved. (Chapter 5 covers this in more detail.)

Executive Summary

Once you’ve written the strategy, develop an executive summary. Even though it is placed at the beginning of the document, it’s easier to summarize what you’ve written after you’ve written it.

Distribute the Strategy

Identify all the individuals who need to read and approve your strategic plan. Certainly, you need to start with approval from your direct manager. The leadership team should comment on the plan and advise you of any potential risks and changes that may be beneficial. As soon as you have the support of all the individuals who need to sign off, use this as an initial communication plan throughout the organization. This strategy is a tool that allows you to be proactive in your approach to starting your organization’s talent development program. It leads to buy in, prepares you to make better decisions, and ensures that you will get better results.

Taking Care of Business

Your strategy has been approved and you are ready to start. But where? What do you do first?

Remember, the most important role the talent development program plays is to support the organization in reaching its strategic priorities. Your organization expects a return on its investment in training, and aligning the training to organizational requirements is the underlying reason why you are on the payroll. The better you tie the training delivered to your organization’s goals, the more successful your talent development program will be.

Setting up a talent development program requires you to be organized and efficient. Make sure you review the purpose, establish governance, develop a budget, and consider all you need to do to manage the talent development program.

Align Employee Development to Organizational Goals

When designing, buying, or delivering a training program, you need to start with the business goal to ensure that employee development is aligned to organizational requirements. Goals typically fall into a few general categories:

Expense reduction. Refresher courses or job aids might be required to decrease errors or rework a procedure; new information might be used to reduce reliance on more expensive support from consultants or other organizations; new information might also be aimed at increasing employee productivity.

Revenue generation. Sales training is usually aimed at increasing sales; customer-satisfaction development may be aimed at ensuring that customers return or that they recommend products or services to others. This category could also be aimed toward innovation and developing new products or services.

Regulation compliance. The government or industry might require organizations to provide a webcast to prevent errors or fines from regulatory agencies.

Figure 3-1 presents a visual of how to link your business strategy to learners’ development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

Figure 3-1. Linking Learner Development to Business Goals

Always know how the learning approach you have planned addresses organizational requirements. What does your organization need? And at times, you’ll need to know what employee development your organization does not need. How can that be?

Sometimes, management asks for training even though training is not the solution. For example, if one of your organization’s goals is to increase customer satisfaction, no amount of training is going to achieve the goal if the real problem is a slow delivery of product from distribution. Even if training is part of the solution, it is rarely the entire solution. A systems approach is usually required to accomplish most goals—that is, examining the entire set of inputs (materials, people, equipment, processes, and environment) and aligning them with the goal.

You will have challenges along the way, but none as critical as keeping your talent development program focused on what benefits the organization the most. Organizations achieve alignment when learning is a business asset and permeates the culture. Talent development must go beyond the delivery of courses, programs, and modules to ensure learning becomes part of the business. Even fully committed organizations find it tricky to maintain that alignment, and challenging to measure whether it exists. One study found that the most common alignment barrier is the learning organization’s lack of a complete understanding about the business (ASTD 2012). So, even though I’ve been preaching alignment, you also have to understand the business to which you are aligning.


A checklist, “Align Employee Development to Organizational Strategy,” at the end of this chapter will help keep you on the straight and narrow during this stage and at the execution stage.

Establishing Talent Development Governance

Governance is the formation of policies and standards to provide guidance for the talent development program. You’ll also consider how to monitor them, ensuring that the organization’s plans are implemented the way they were originally intended.


Use your mission statement and other elements in your strategic plan to ensure your content is consistent. The simplest policy includes:

• A value statement that proclaims what the talent development department values (as opposed to the value proposition in the strategic plan—the value you offer customers). For example, a talent development department could value innovation, speed, and quality.

• A belief statement that clarifies your beliefs in how talent development affects employees and the organization. It could state, “We believe that all employees need to be actively involved in their own development” or “The organization is committed to providing development for all employees to ensure they are contributing members of the organization and society.”

• An action statement that defines what talent development will do.


A “Policy Development Template” is located at the end of this chapter. Use it to begin your writing.

Why do you need a policy? It helps everyone who is delivering talent development services coalesce as a team and focus on what is most important to the organization. It can also assist with establishing priorities around budget, schedules, and decisions about content.

What is included in the policy? You can’t include everything, but you might consider some of these areas if they pose a concern: safety, developing new skills, diversity and inclusion, customer service, organizational strategy, leadership, productivity, and communications. You may also want to include elements of how you plan to design and deliver products and services, such as:

• evaluation of talent development efforts and programs

• selection of employees who attend special events

• whether development opportunities will be mandatory or voluntary

• location and timing of learning events

• programs to be established and added to the portfolio

• design and delivery standards

• tuition-paid plans

• external services and programs

• how priorities will be established

• linking talent development to performance reviews

• stating how often the policy will be reviewed and updated.

How do you develop the policy? It is not something you should sit in front of your computer at the last minute and pound out. The true value of a talent development policy occurs when many people are involved. If you have staff, perhaps you could start by brainstorming a list of things to include in the policy. If you are working alone, write a draft and meet with several leaders or informal leaders whose opinions you respect for input. The discussion is where the most value occurs.


The best talent development policy is created after multiple iterations. Develop your policy and keep notes about the challenges you face for the first six months. After six months, review the policy with a team of stakeholders and make changes, additions, or deletions.

Once the policy is completed, how can you use it? Share it with new employees to explain the organization’s beliefs about learning. Give copies to all supervisors to include in their employee performance discussions. Include it in packets, physically or electronically, during talent development events. Explain changes and updates to senior leaders and managers. Blog about it to show what is in the policy, how it is implemented, and how it relates to the organization’s strategic initiatives.

The talent development policy is important for clarifying what you believe in. It helps focus and motivate employees responsible for developing others, while giving everyone something to visualize and an incentive to set higher goals.


To help you develop your policy, refer to the tool at the end of this chapter, “An Example of a Simplified Talent Development Policy.”


Talent development requires guidelines, or standards, to define the measures of success. Successful organizations understand what skills they expect employees to demonstrate, and these skills are often tied to development events. But there are other metrics that may be important. The measures or indicators a talent development professional uses should represent factors that lead to the organization’s strategic imperative: improved customer, operational, financial, and societal performance. Bruno Neal (2014) suggests that common quality indicators of success may include:

• how departments set achievement standards and attain them

• the amount of time dedicated to instructional issues during staff meetings (less is better)

• the quality of instruction as rated by learners

• the expenditure for development per employee.

Several methods can be used to identify and measure the quality of a service or product, including ISO guidelines, Baldrige principles, or curriculum review. Standards offer a way for talent development professionals to compare their program with other organizations.


The February 2014 Infoline, “How to Develop Training Quality Standards,” by Bruno Neal, describes several methods that can be used to identify and measure standards.

Budgeting for Talent Development

If you’ve ever had to defend a budget, you know how much pushback is possible. When managers think about decreasing their operating budget to create funding for employee development initiatives, they will consider it an expense. On the other hand, if managers see the many benefits of employee development, it’s easier to get them to view training as an investment.

The right talent development program increases employee engagement, retention, and productivity. Ultimately, it also decreases the need for supervision, reduces absenteeism, improves customer service, lowers the number of complaints, and boosts sales. Knowledgeable employees make fewer mistakes and are more effective in dealing with customers. Providing talent development opportunities helps employees feel valued and appreciated, which makes them more committed to their work and the organization. Excellent talent development is a good investment.

Even if you are a one-person talent development shop, you will have some responsibility for preparing and maintaining the annual operating budget related to the program. You may also find yourself in charge of requesting or managing a capital budget if needed. How do you start?

Ensure You Have Commitment

Start by confirming you have full support for training efforts from senior leaders. When they understand the long-term value of employee development, they will show their support by earmarking funds for talent development.

Don’t forget that employee commitment is also necessary. Give employees the data about how talent development benefits them as well as the organization, and then ask them for their input. Take a special interest in those who require certification. If they have had to invest in their own development in the past, they will be interested in the talent development program and how it will support them.

Select an Organizational Construct

You may not have a role in determining how the talent development program is organized, so understanding how it works is important. Make sure you know the source of budget funds, the reporting structure, and so forth. The five most common models are centralized, functional, matrix, university, and organization-embedded.

If you are just starting out, the model will most likely be centralized. However, if your organization decides to expand the talent development program in the future, you need to be knowledgeable about the best fit for what your organization wants to achieve. Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of each model:

Centralized: Easiest to manage; all programs, services, resources, and people are in the same location; ensures the most alignment with the organizational strategy, initiatives, metrics, delivery, and policies; generally includes a centralized budget.

Functional: Combines programs and services that are related to topic areas, such as leadership or sales; most compatible with a stable organization; consistency of message across all organizational departments is the biggest concern; may create conflict of allocation of resources.

Matrix: Dual reporting to both the learning department and functional departments; ensures consistency between the talent development needs of specific functions and the general learning area; drawbacks include time constraints on employees who deliver and misunderstandings of who is in charge; budget may reside in a centralized area as well as all the functional areas.

University: A hybrid approach that provides access to various topics for internal and external stakeholders around values, policies, best practices, and processes within the organization, including a knowledge management platform and talent management facilities; the advantage is in the model’s versatility; concerns include cost to design, broad content areas, and application accuracy; budget is located in numerous places.

Organization-Embedded: Focuses on aligning business strategy, design, content, delivery, and metrics; provides a direct link from current organizational needs and strategy to daily requirements; participants are held accountable for performance; budget is usually centralized.

Create a Budget

Budgeting for talent development is usually a separate line item in an annual budget. It typically includes costs such as:

• communication about the talent development program

• delivery, such as classes, e-learning, and external course fees

• materials, such as workbooks and videos

• staff time and benefits

• administration

• purchased services

• supplies, equipment, software, and overhead

• travel and lodging if external

• assessment expenses

• design and development

• evaluation expenses.

You will need to translate your budget categories into the ones used by your organization (the finance department can help you if this is your first budget). I recommend building a relationship with the finance department, because they can help even the most seasoned practitioners translate a budget into a format that resonates with senior leaders.

Where Do the Figures Come From?

You will need to estimate costs for now—especially if this is your first talent development startup. Carolyn Nilson (2002) suggests that you begin with these seven steps:

1. Learn what line managers need and get their support.

2. Identify priorities, establish objectives, and get agreement from line managers on milestones, costs, dates, and deliverables.

3. Create the plan to achieve each objective.

4. Forecast the cost necessary to complete the plan in the time allotted by benchmarking other developmental events and other organizations.

5. Present the budget for approval.

6. Maintain records of time, salaries, materials, and other expenses so that you have a good measure next time.

7. Evaluate the budget regularly and communicate progress and problems to those who can be helpful.


Be realistic right from the start, and stay honest and candid when you communicate progress. Keep the lines of communication open. No one likes surprises—especially when they’re bad news about money.

The actual cost of each talent development service depends on the delivery method, how much design is required, and the content. It will vary widely. The list in Table 3-1 list offers a sample of ways that you might plan to deliver content.

Table 3-1. Relative Cost of Employee Development

Delivery Mechanism Level of Cost
On-the-job coaching and mentoring Low
Apprentice sponsorship Low
Self-organized learning Low
Videos and YouTube Low
Paper or electronic job aids Low
Job shadowing Low
Facilitating teams to learn together Low
Social learning Low
Individual development plans (IDPs) Low to Moderate
Online communities of practice Moderate
E-learning programs or webcasts Moderate
Seminars Moderate
One-on-one tutoring Moderate
Custom-designed programs (internal) Moderate
Podcasts and apps Moderate
Custom-designed programs (supplier) High
College courses Very High

What’s a Reasonable Budget?

Organizations may establish a norm to invest a specified amount (perhaps anywhere from 2 to 8 percent of salary). Benchmark other organizations to learn what is typical for your industry. Whether the industry standard is realistic or not, it’s important to name a budget the organization can commit to. You will likely have more requirements than the budget can support; however, do not reduce quality for quantity. Implement the best you can afford to ensure that you demonstrate results and continue to have the commitment, respect, and satisfaction of senior leaders.

Manage the Budget

Once approved, your training budget will need careful management to ensure that costs stay on track. Unforeseen events can lead to changing costs. For example, a specially trained staff member might unexpectedly leave the company before passing on knowledge to others. Training costs will increase if you need to rely on external resources.

Eventually your leadership will want a cost-benefit analysis—perhaps not if you are just starting, but eventually. Tracking the costs and benefits derived from developing employees adds legitimacy to the talent development program and garners respect for what you do. (Cost-benefit analysis is discussed in chapter 5.)

Can You Shave Costs?

Depending on the size of your organization and its requirements, you may find that costs add up quickly. Here are a few ways you can save on costs:

• When employees attend external learning events, ask for group discounts. Or, only send one employee, and have that person present to the rest of the staff.

• Negotiate free or reduced-cost training from suppliers for repeat business.

• Reuse materials (such as videos) and encourage staff to develop blogs or podcasts that benefit many employees.

• Utilize subject matter experts (SMEs) as much as possible to design or deliver courses.

• Encourage employees to write about or take videos of best practices, and post them in a central location for your organization.

• Identify helpful (and often free) MOOCs or online webcasts for employees to take advantage of.

However, the best way to save money in the long run is to always deliver the right content in the right way.


Maintain good, no, excellent, records. Your budget will thank you, and your senior leader team will respect you.

Managing a Talent Development Department

Thousands of resources exist for being a better manager. Managing a talent development department incorporates the same components. In addition to what we’ve discussed about working with leadership and creating a budget, you’ll need to consider a few additional elements—especially if you are starting a new effort.

Identify Your Team

Will you hire additional staff from the outside, or does the current pool of talent in your organization have the skills necessary? Will you depend on subject matter experts, and do you have a plan to select, manage, and reward them?


If you lead a small department, or if you are a one-person shop for your organization, you’ll have some special challenges. The tool “10 Tips to Triumph: A Checklist for New and Small Talent Departments” is located at the end of this chapter.

Select a Learning Management System (LMS)

A good LMS can be a huge time-saver for tracking employee attendance and evaluations, as well as distributing materials. Some LMSs are also capable of delivering online training. Many resources are available to help you sort through the details to find the best one for you. Stacy Lindenberg, facilitator of ATD’s Essentials of Selecting and Implementing an LMS, suggests a five-step systematic approach:

1. Research. Use independent research to educate your team on the strengths and weaknesses of potential suppliers. This will help narrow your selection.

2. Peer interviews. Talk with others in organizations similar to yours. Asking questions regarding their experience with their current LMS, as well as what they would do differently, will give you a better idea of what suppliers might be a better fit for your organization. It can also yield insight you wouldn’t find otherwise.

3. System checklists. During the RFP and selection process, use a thoughtful and thorough checklist to compare standard features and functionality between potential suppliers.

4. Internal advisory council. By tapping into other areas of your organization that may be affected by the LMS, you can create a group to advise and offer insight on the LMS selection. People are also more likely to support what they have helped create, and when they have had the opportunity to provide input.

5. Sandbox site. When you have narrowed your selection, have your advisory council explore the supplier’s sample site, often referred to as a sandbox site. This allows you and your council to use the system as users and administrators, and helps you understand system usability (Lindenberg 2012).


I’ve found two websites that provide information about specific systems that will be helpful as you begin your search:

• Software Advice (www.softwareadvice.com/lms/#top-products)

• Software Insider (lms.softwareinsider.com).

ATD also offers a TD at Work issue, “Selecting and Implementing an LMS” and a book, LMS Guidebook: Learning Management Systems Demystified.

Note that some LMSs have come under fire recently for not actually recording “learning”—only the activity. For example, the LMS can track whether someone attended a course, but not what (if anything) was actually learned. In addition, it does not record self-organized learning, unless the employee inputs the information.

Some alternatives to the LMS include portals or intranet sites with on-demand materials that are easy to access. Some organizations also create their own organizational YouTube platform because videos are a popular learning method.

Enterprise social networks (ESNs), such as Yammer or Jive, foster collaboration and communication among peers. They provide real-time information flow, including private messaging, group formation, file storage, and often polling tools. These features allow employees to continue conversations after an event, so that learning becomes a continuous social experience.


Visit www.yammer.com to learn more about Yammer; find more information about Jive at www.jivesoftware.com.

Consider Related Infrastructure Elements

If you are initiating a new, from-the-ground-up talent development effort, there is a good chance that you lack some basic infrastructure. Consider whether these systems and tools are in place, and if not, when you might use them and how you will budget for them.

Learning content management system. Similar to an LMS, an LCMS also has the ability to be a platform to store and even create online learning programs.

HR information and performance management system. This system uses employee data and appraisal information to help determine development needs and identify high potentials; it also uses other data to help target learning and communicate learning opportunities.

Design and development tools. This can include a wide range of things, such as authoring tools to develop online courses, video production equipment, a social learning platform (such as Yammer or SharePoint), or assessment platforms to measure gains in skills or provide 360-degree feedback.

Talent development tools. Beyond training events, you will want systems that allow you to easily create, store, and tap into IDPs; match mentors to protégés; and align competencies to components of the talent development program.

Of course, you can’t do it all at the beginning, but review your strategic plan and decide when you might want to incorporate any of these systems into your talent development program.

Define Rationale for Make or Buy Decisions

A big part of your time will be to secure the services and products your organize needs. In almost all cases, you will need to determine whether to use internal or external resources:

Internal resources. What resources do you have in-house? Seasoned employees may be perfect to take on coaching or mentoring roles, and they’re generally inexpensive to provide.

External resources. What formal classes, conferences, or certification efforts are required? These may be more expensive, but are professionally developed and often yield good results.

Whether you make or buy services and products, your decision has numerous repercussions. You will need to consider cost, alignment to the organization, internal expertise, ability to customize the content, time available, speed with which it is needed, how often the product or service will be needed, production technology, credibility of the supplier, and others. You will most likely use a combination of internal and external resources during your tenure. Table 3-2 can help you make your decision.

Table 3-2. Define the Rationale for Make or Buy Decisions

Use Internal Resources Use External Resources

• Qualified and credible experts are available

• Specific knowledge is only available internally

• Building credibility with sponsors is desired

• There is time to guide SMEs

• Time is available to test products and services

• Budget constraints exist

• An experienced instructional designer and organization development expert are available

• Quality materials can be produced quickly and inexpensively

• Relevant data are only available internally

• A “mistrust of not-invented-here” mentality exists in the organization

• The best expertise is available outside the organization

• An objective or fresh perspective is required

• Time is of the essence

• Staff are not available to dedicate time to the project

• Budget is available

• The organization lacks the technology or ability to produce superior materials

• Relevant, credible materials and programs are available

• Customization is not required

• Outside authorities have more credibility

Besides these critical considerations, additional things to include would be updating or changing the organization’s employee handbook, writing job descriptions, determining a pay structure, creating a staff development plan, and other actions you would want to address by researching or tapping into your past experiences.


The TD at Work issue “Managing Learning Programs Step by Step” by Lisa Downs provides a list of questions for overcoming obstacles and a section for how to secure executive buy-in and support.

Identifying Topics Employees Need to Learn

How do you know what topics or content to deliver? Earlier in this chapter, we examined how to connect learning to the organizational strategy. That gives you a big-picture view of needs. You’ll determine your content by conducting needs assessments and analyzing them. You’ve already looked at the organizational level; however, because needs assessments occur at three levels—organizational, task, and individual—you will also conduct needs assessment with managers and perhaps even employees.

A needs assessment usually occurs at the start of a training cycle so you can determine needs or gaps between the current and the desired result. It generally refers to a gap in employee performance, but that does not necessarily mean that training is the solution. A needs assessment is your path to clarify problems and determine the best way to close the gap. For example, a needs assessment in human performance improvement helps you determine the needs related to performance issues, and may uncover a broad variety of topics, such as processes, resources, and organizational structures.

How do you conduct a needs assessment? If you’ve completed the activities in previous chapters, you’ve already conducted a type of needs assessment. There are a variety of approaches—including interviews, observations, questionnaires, performance data reviews, focus groups, and knowledge tests—that can lead to identifying needs. Using them effectively involves gathering, analyzing, verifying, and reporting data. So, when you interviewed leaders and managers, you were conducting a needs assessment from the organizational perspective.


The six data collection approaches listed in the “Data Collection Approaches” tool in chapter 5 can be used to gather data for a needs assessment as well as evaluation.

A needs assessment may serve several purposes:

• It places the need or request in the context of the organization’s needs. Training or employee development adds value when it serves a business need.

• It validates or dispels any initial issues presented by a manager or leader. Although managers and clients know the business, sometimes they don’t know the cause of or the remedy for issues that involve human performance.

• It ensures that the ultimate learning design supports employee performance and thereby helps the organization meet its needs.

• It results in recommendations regarding nontraining issues that may be interfering with the achievement of desired organization and employee goals.

• It establishes the foundation for evaluation.


The “Needs Assessment Process” tool briefly lists the steps required to complete a needs assessment; it is located at the end of this chapter.

As mentioned, a needs assessment occurs at three different levels:

• Organizational assessment evaluates the level of organizational performance. It may determine the skills, knowledge, and attitude needs of an organization to achieve its strategic imperative. It also identifies what is required to alleviate organizational problems and weaknesses, as well as enhance strengths and competencies. Organizational assessments consider factors such as changing demographics, political trends, technology, or the economy.

• Task assessment examines the skills, knowledge, and attitudes required for specific jobs and occupational groups. It identifies how and which discrepancies or gaps exist, as well as new ways to do work that could prevent discrepancies or close the gaps.

• Individual assessment analyzes how well an individual employee is doing a job and determines the individual’s capacity to do new or different work. It provides information about which employees need training and what kind (Biech 2017).


The “Plan Your Needs Assessment” tool gives you a list of questions to help design your needs assessment.

A needs assessment will be helpful for you to decide whether talent development is the solution or if others need to be pulled in to find the best resolution. For example, if someone comes to you and says, “We need training. Half of my employees are not meeting their goals.” You need to consider more than employee skills and knowledge. Do they have the physical resources, tools, and technology they need? Are the processes, reporting relationships, incentives, and consequences appropriate for the work? Are employees motivated and healthy enough to perform the task? Talent development professionals need to be performance consultants and good communicators to determine the root cause of a situation. The solution may be in the talent development arena, such as training, coaching, or job-aid creation, but it also might lie in a business department’s processes, HR’s policies, or even the organization’s misdirected strategic guidance.

Remember, just because someone has requested training doesn’t mean that training is required. It means that something needs attention. The needs assessment will help determine whether training is the solution.

Reinforce a Mindset That Supports Today’s Learner

Malcolm Knowles’ work was never more relevant than it is today. We can summarize his principles of adult learning by saying that adults are self-directed, have an extensive depth of experience, are ready to learn more, and are goal motivated (1984). Keep these principles in mind as we review several other concepts that support how learners want to learn in ways that Knowles could never have imagined.

Our organizations are changing, and the most productive and valuable employees are changing with them. To be productive, employees need to be prepared for the VUCA world in which their organizations operate. This means that talent development professionals’ jobs are changing, too.

“Meet the Modern Learner,” an infographic by Bersin by Deloitte, received lots of attention when it was published in 2014. Based on research conducted throughout the year, the infographic presents valuable advice to consider as you think of how to meet the needs of your learners. For example:


You can retrieve a copy of the “Meet the Modern Learner” infographic at http://bit.ly/2wlUPih.

• “Most learners won’t watch videos longer than four minutes”; therefore, learning experiences need to be presented in short, microbursts.

• Employees check their phones nine times an hour and are “increasingly turning to their smartphones to find just-in-time answers to unexpected problems”; therefore, learning needs to be on the go and ondemand.

• Employees are looking for “pull” learning (continuous, shared, and available).

• Employees want to learn but are overwhelmed with work, and only “38 percent feel they have access to learning and growth at work”; therefore, learning needs to be more aligned with work, and organizations need to find ways to incorporate learning and provide opportunities for self-organized learning.

• “Employees want to learn from their peers and managers as much as from experts”; therefore, ensure that social and continuous development is available (Tauber and Johnson 2014).

An Organizational Learning Culture Is Required

Herb Kelleher, co-founder, former CEO, and now chairman emeritus of Southwest Airlines, is fond of saying, “Culture is what people do when no one is looking.” Culture and engagement are often cited as the “very important” challenges senior leaders face as well as being critical to business success (Derler 2016; Aguirre, von Post, and Alpern 2013).

The 70-20-10 Principle Guides Development

As talent development professionals, we have focused on the 10 percent—formal learning. It’s clear that we need to become more adept at supporting and enhancing the 90 percent that occurs beyond the classroom. We need to get better at putting learning where the work is, ensuring that the right developmental activities are available at the right time.

Managers Are Responsible for Employee Development

A good manager is one who takes developing employees seriously. Developing employees for the job they are doing is a start, but star managers develop employees for their next jobs. They ensure that learning continues by helping employees learn how to learn. The managers who are the most successful ensure that every employee has an IDP and builds in time for regularly scheduled discussions about their IDPs.

Enlightened Employees Take Responsibility for Their Own Development

It took the Millennial generation to show the rest of us the value of being accountable for your own development. More and more employees recognize that they need to take control of skill development. The Bersin infographic shows us that rapid organizational changes mean everyone needs to constantly be learning. When employees do not get training and development from their employers, they find other options—including paying for it themselves.

Talent Development Professionals Need Consulting Skills

One last mindset is that consulting skills are critical to your work as an internal talent development professional. We do not have the pages to address this topic by itself, but you will find elements of it throughout this book. You will need to use consulting skills to identify problems and create solutions. You may also need them when you are performance consulting, leading a development strategy, building teams, weighing in on organizational change, and for what you are about to do right now—starting a talent development program. Indeed, this book’s philosophy is based on using internal consulting skills.


Two excellent resources for the consulting efforts of your talent development program are:

Consulting on the Inside by Beverly Scott and B. Kim Barnes

Flawless Consulting by Peter Block.

If your focus is on performance, read Performance Consulting: A Strategic Process to Improve, Measure, and Sustain Organizational Results by Dana Gaines Robinson and four other authors.

These five mindsets prepare you for designing and delivering a learning strategy that supports today’s learner and today’s organization.

Your Strategy Is in Place

With a talent development strategy in hand and your operating plan established, you have the key logistics in place. This allows you to begin thinking about how you can best deliver services for your organization. The next chapter provides a guide for how to plan for services and how to determine content that will be critical for your organization to achieve its strategy.

Questions to Explore

• What is the best way to conduct research for creating a talent development strategic plan for your organization?

• What are the key benefits of creating a business case for a talent development program?

• What are your concerns about writing your talent development strategic plan?

• Who could assist you to complete a SWOT analysis?

• If you decide to conduct interviews, what questions will you ask?

• What will you include in your policy statement?

• What have you identified to include in your budget? Who can you call in your network to help you with your first budgeting drill?

• What issues do you predict regarding the budget?

• What are the most important considerations when deciding whether you will develop learning internally or use external resources?

• What learner mindsets will pose the greatest challenge for you?


Tools for Support

Explore Your Organization’s Strategic Priorities

Use this template as a guide to identify your organization’s strategic priorities. If you have the option to work with a team, it will lead to richer data and more insight.

• If you are not familiar with your organization or if you have joined a new one, read about the organization and the industry. Start on the Internet, move to industry journals, and ask for other resource recommendations from leaders. How are your leaders rewarded? How does this compare with the industry standard?

• Learn about your organization’s customers and what they expect. Read your latest customer surveys. Check online to see what ratings your customers are giving your organization. Discuss what you learn with leaders you respect.

• Interview leaders. Create a list of questions that address not only what is happening now, but also what their hopes and dreams are for the organization’s future.

• Learn what employees think about the organization. Read at least the last two engagement surveys. Is the organization getting better or worse? In what areas?

• Read your organization’s strategic plan. What are its priorities? By when? What resources are going to be needed? What skills, knowledge, and attitudes are necessary?

• Learn about your organization’s culture. What values are advocated? What values actually play out? What is rewarded? How is learning viewed? How is change managed?

Mind Map Priorities

A mind map is a useful tool to identify what knowledge, skills, and attitudes are necessary to address the strategic priorities. It is a diagram—often created around a single topic—that helps you visually organize information by giving it a hierarchy and showing how one piece relates to the whole. Tony Buzan, a British popular psychology author and TV personality who popularized the term mind map, describes them as, “a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills—word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness—in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In so doing, it gives you the freedom to roam the infinite expanses of your brain” (Buzan 2011).

The beauty of the mind map is that it is a way for you to capture ideas in one place, and then creatively explore and expand options for the content of the design.

Place each of your organization’s priorities in the center of a mind map and start identifying what your employees will need to achieve the priorities. Take the mind map to any departments that are primarily and secondarily related to each priority for additional input.

SWOT Analysis

Use this tool to complete a SWOT analysis to help you prepare to develop your talent development strategy.

Interview Questions to Ask

Choose your questions carefully when interviewing senior leaders or others during the pre-implementation stage. A 45-minute, one-on-one interview will provide enough information.

Use these questions to get started. You will want to tailor them to your organization and your audience. Begin every interview with a short description of the purpose and how the content of the discussion will be used. If anonymity is important, state your intentions.

  Tell me about your experience with employee development.

  What kinds of employee development tactics work best from your perspective?

  What are the top three things we should consider when developing a talent development program?

  How does the organization’s culture either support or inhibit employee development? What can we do to either strengthen the support or weaken the inhibitors?

  Which organizational strategies need support from a talent development program? How?

  What knowledge and skills do employees in the organization (your department, division, unit) need? What are your ideas for delivering specific skills and knowledge?

  In your mind, what should the organization invest in for its talent development program?

  What are your top three priorities for the talent development program?

  What message would you give the CEO (or vice presidents, managers, supervisors, and employees) about our new talent development program?

  What commitment and accountability will be necessary for a successful talent development program?

  Talent development is everyone’s responsibility. What role do you envision playing in the talent development program?

  Who else should I interview?

  Is there anything that I should have asked, but didn’t? Anything you wanted to tell me that I did not give you a chance to say?

Strategic Planning Template

Use this template to guide writing your strategic plan for talent development.

Executive Summary

(Recommend that you write this last)

Background and Context

• Why this strategy now?

organizational context

learning function context

political, economic, social, and technological analysis

SWOT analysis

areas transitioning from weakness to strength.

• Who we are:

our vision

our mission

our learning philosophy or principles

how do the above align with the direction of the organization we serve?

• Who we serve:

our primary clients

key partners


• How we serve:

our business model

product portfolio

service portfolio

key services provided by others

organizational structure

financial model, especially as it touches the customer.

• Where we are going:

strategic goals

systemic goals

programmatic goals.

• How we will get there:

our key strategies and initiatives

year 1

year 2

year 3

year 4

year 5.

our requirements for:

political support


financial support

physical and virtual space


indicators of success.

• Broad-based measures of success:

how will we demonstrate:




• Year 1 design

Used with permission from Coné (2014).

Aligning Employee Development to Organizational Strategy

Use this checklist to generate ideas and remind yourself and others to maintain focus on the organizational strategy when making decisions about training and development.

  Target talent development budget increases to specific business goals.

  Make sure any university or educational programs support the organization’s strategic plan.

  Evaluate the impact talent development efforts have on the strategy.

  Align performance to strategy.

  Define the “why” as the achievement of business outcomes first.

  Create effective governance mechanisms linking the business to talent development.

  Meet regularly with line managers to identify their needs and issues.

  Ask the line managers lots of questions.

  Become a trusted adviser using Dana Gaines Robinson’s ACT model (access, credibility, trust) with business leaders.

  Know how to diagnose business issues.

  Communicate regularly and build a relationship with line managers.

  Ensure learning is co-owned between talent development and the business.

  Ensure personal and 360-degree assessments have a strong focus on strategy.

  Implement action learning projects that relate to the organization’s strategy.

  Create development goals that relate to strategy.

Talent Development Policy Template

Use this template and sample stem statements as prompts to start writing the three key parts of your talent development policy: the value statement, belief statement, and action statement.

Value Statement

• We value …

• Our mission is to …

• To support the organization’s strategy, we will strive to …

• We will uphold …

Belief Statement

• We will maintain the organization’s belief that …

• We believe that …

• To fulfill the organization’s mission, we will …

Action Statement

• To accomplish our goals, we will …

• It is mandatory that we …

• We will partner with the organization’s leaders to …

Example of a Simplified Talent Development Policy

This simplified version of a training policy provides examples of the wording you might consider.

The talent development department’s mission is to partner with the business units to ensure all employees have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to create a competitive advantage. We value integrity, innovation, and teamwork. (value statement)

The talent development department believes that the employees of the organization are its most valuable asset. Working together with the business units will allow us to create excellent products for all customers. We believe it is essential that all employees acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their jobs at the highest level possible. We believe that people learn in three ways: formally, on the job, and socially. (belief statement)

The talent development department believes that success is incumbent on these actions: (action statement)

• All levels of management will be involved in planning talent development efforts.

• All learning will be aligned to the organization’s strategy and goals.

• New employees will receive a dynamic, informative, and interactive orientation to the organization.

• All managers will be given the tools and support to develop their employees.

• Using the 70-20-10 model as a guide, we will support, encourage, and deliver services and products to ensure employees learn continuously.

• All employees will be viewed as leaders of the organization and given the skills and knowledge to perform their responsibilities as such.

• A variety of activities, services, and deliverables will be designed to support employees who require continuous learning on demand and on the go.

• The training policy will be reviewed and updated annually to reflect changes to the organization’s strategy and goals.

10 Tips to Triumph: A Checklist for New and Small Talent Departments

Being a new and small talent department presents unique challenges. Follow these guidelines and be sure not to fall into any of the traps described.

• Keep solutions, services, and products simple.

• Become business savvy.

• Don’t overpromise.

• Keep all promises.

• Don’t try to do everything.

• Don’t try to do everything yourself.

• Remain optimistic and positive.

• Maintain your own development.

• Attend your association’s annual conference every year.

• Take care of yourself—so you can take care of your organization.

Needs Assessment Process

This tool will help you start developing a needs assessment and lead you to implementation.

1.   Draft questions you will ask.

2.   Solicit feedback for the questions from stakeholders or other colleagues.

3.   Identify the approach you will use, such as interviews or questionnaires, to gather data. (See the list in the chapter 5 tools.)

4.   Conduct the assessment.

5.   Analyze and compile the data.

6.   Determine if the results identify a talent development solution.

If yes, continue to step 7.

If no, deliver the results to the correct stakeholder and offer to help.

7.   Create an implementation plan.

Establish goals, which are most likely based on the gaps or needs you discover.

Compare the results with your organization’s competency model.

Create learning objectives.

Decide what methodology you will use, such as training, supervisory coaching, a job aid, review of information, or peer groups.

Decide who should receive the solution, when, and how it will be delivered.

Determine if you have the resources to design the solution or if you will require an external supplier.

Create an evaluation plan.

8.   Connect with business leaders to communicate your ideas and involve them in the solution.

9.   Finalize the design and development.

10. Communicate the talent development solution throughout the organization.

11. Implement the talent development solution.

Plan Your Needs Assessment

Consider these questions as you plan your needs assessment.

• Who is being trained? What are their job functions?

• Are employees from the same department or a variety of areas or locations in the organization?

• What are the deficiencies? Why has this occurred?

• What are the backgrounds and educational profiles of the employees being studied?

• What do employees expect or desire?

• What are the objectives of the needs assessment?

• How will the results of the needs assessment benefit the organization?

• What are the expected outcomes? What effect will these outcomes have on which organizational levels?

• Which data gathering method will work best: questionnaires, surveys, tests, interviews?

• Who will administer the assessment—in-house or external consultants?

• Will the analysis interrupt work processes? What effect will this have on the workforce and productivity?

• How will you measure success?

• How is the request tied to the organizational strategy?

• What is the organizational climate?

• Will there be a confidentiality policy for handling information?

Used with permission from Biech (2017).

References and Additional Resources

Aguirre, D., R. von Post, and M. Alpern. 2013. Culture’s Role in Enabling Organizational Change. Booz & Company. www.strategyand.pwc.com/reports/cultures-role-organizational-change.

ASTD and i4cp (American Society for Training & Development and the Institute for Corporate Productivity). 2012. Developing Results: Aligning Learning’s Goals and Outcomes With Business Performance Measures. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.

Barbazette, J. 2008. Managing the Training Function for Bottom Line Results. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

Bianco-Mathis, V., and L.K. Nabors. 2016. “Building a Coaching Organization.” TD at Work. Alexandria, VA: ATD Press.

Biech, E. 2017. The Art and Science of Training. Alexandria, VA: ATD Press.

———. 2016. “The 90% Solution.” TD, December.

———. 2009a. 10 Steps to Successful Training. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.

———. 2009b. “Learning Eye to Eye: Aligning Training to Business Objectives.” T+D 60 (4): 50.

Block, P. 2011. Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used, 3rd edition. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

Buzan, T. 2011. “What Is a Mind Map?” Mind Mapping | Tony Buzan. www.tonybuzan.com/about/mind-mapping.

Coné, J. 2014. “Developing a Strategy for Training and Development.” Chapter 42 in ASTD Handbook: The Definitive Reference for Training & Development, 2nd ed., edited by E. Biech. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.

Derler, A. 2016. High-Impact Leadership: The New Leadership Maturity Model. Bersin by Deloitte.

Downs, L. 2015. “Managing Learning Programs Step by Step.” TD at Work. Alexandria, VA: ATD Press.

Edwards, L. 2014. “Creating an Internal Coaching Program.” TD at Work. Alexandria, VA: ATD Press.

Haddock-Millar, J., and D. Clutterbuck. 2016. “5 Critical Conversations to Talent Development.” TD at Work. Alexandria, VA: ATD Press.

Knowles, M. 1984. Andragogy in Action. San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass.

Lindenberg, S. 2012. “Selecting and Implementing an LMS.” Infoline. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.

Neal, B. 2014. “How to Develop Training Quality Standards.” Infoline. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.

Nilson, C. 2002. How to Start a Training Program. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.

Reinhold, D., T. Patterson, and P. Hegel. 2015. Make Learning Stick: Best Practices to Get the Most Out of Leadership Development. Greensboro, NC: Center for Creative Leadership.

Robinson, D., J.C. Robinson, J.J. Phillips, P.P. Phillips, and D. Handshaw. 2015. Performance Consulting: A Strategic Process to Improve, Measure, and Sustain Organizational Results, 3rd edition. Oakland, CA: Berrett-Koehler.

Scisco, P., E. Biech, and G. Hallenbeck. 2017. Compass: Your Guide for Leadership Development and Coaching. Greensboro, NC: Center for Creative Leadership.

Schlenker, B. 2015. “Back to the Future … of Training and Development.” Session given at the ATD International Conference & Exposition, Orlando, FL, May 2015.

Scott, B., and B.K. Barnes. 2011. Consulting on the Inside: A Practical Guide for Internal Consultants. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.

Tauber, T., and D. Johnson. 2014. “Meet the Modern Learner.” Infographic. Bersin by Deloitte. www.bersin.com/Lib/Rs/ShowDocument.aspx?docid=18071.